Prison BarsWASHINGTON, D.C. (October 17, 2014):  The Minority Media and Telecommunications Council (MMTC) applauds today’s FCC decision to expand upon its reforms of the high cost of phone calls for incarcerated individuals.

Last year, MMTC, along with other consumer and civil rights organizations, endorsed the 2003 Wright Petition seeking FCC action to proscribe excessive inmate calling rates. We applauded the Commission then for capping the rates of interstate inmate calling rates, and laud today’s efforts to adopt a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that seeks additional comment on further ways to constrain and ultimately eliminate predatory costs associated with inmate calling services.  [click to continue…]

SNL Kagan 2014 Multichannel SummitJoin SNL Kagan for a full day of networking and interactive panels at this year’s Multichannel Summit in New York! The Multichannel Summit, now in its fifth year, brings together the industry’s top executives to discuss the most compelling topics. Over 20 industry experts and thought leaders will cover topics such as industry M&A, the latest trends in TV Everywhere, and the viewing habits of Millennials.

MMTC members and friends can enjoy a $200 discount for the event by entering the code MMTC2014 on the registration page. [click to continue…]

This month, MMTC Research Director DeVan Hankerson spoke at the National Action Network on “Creating Pathways to Higher Education and Career Service.” With other panelists, DeVan discussed inequality in broadband access in schools and how technology is changing career options, education, and skills preparation for students. We present her adapted remarks in a two-part series highlighting the skills shortage in the U.S. and the dearth of minority students and employees in STEM fields.

STEM EducationI’ll start my remarks with quote from a report jointly published in 2013 by the Computer Research Association and the National Science Foundation: “In the next decade, higher education, military and workplace training and professional development must all transform to exploit the new opportunities of a new era, leveraging emerging technology-based models….”

I am going to frame my remarks around the 21st century economy and what it takes to build a pathway toward career service in specific high tech fields. To begin with, I want to define what STEM is. [click to continue…]

TItle II vs Section 706 Discussion Photo
On October 14th, MMTC hosted  a panel of telecom experts who discussed “Title II Versus Section 706: Identifying the Regulatory Framework that Furthers the Goals of Broadband Adoption, Competition, and Deployment.”  The main issues that surfaced in the panel were primarily related to: content prioritization, particularly on the part of accommodating edge-provider traffic; broadband deployment and investment in minority communities; and how the open Internet debate contributes to universal broadband adoption and deployment. [click to continue…]

FCC Spectrum Auction Bid

WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 10, 2014): The Minority Media and Telecommunications Council (MMTC) applauds the FCC’s release of the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Competitive Bidding, which will examine the Designated Entity (DE) Rules.  MMTC anticipates that the Commission will efficiently and expeditiously act to ensure that DEs are able to participate in the upcoming spectrum incentive auction. MMTC looks forward to working with public interest groups, the industry, and the Commission to build a thorough record on DE participation to support the Commission’s release of revised rules in time for DEs to finalize their business plans and raise the necessary capital for participation, as mandated by Congress.  The NPRM will set the foundation to address and eliminate barriers to entry and engagement that stifle meaningful participation of DEs, especially new entrants and minority- and women-owned businesses. [click to continue…]

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MMTC invites you to join us at the Rayburn House Office Building (Room B-369) on Tuesday, October 14th, from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm as a panel of telecom experts discusses “Title II Versus Section 706: Identifying the Regulatory Framework that Furthers the Goals of Broadband Adoption, Competition, and Deployment.”

The current debate on the future of the Internet has led to differences in the appropriate regulatory approach that will foster broadband adoption, competition, and deployment. For some, the reclassification of broadband has been proposed as a solution for advancing these goals, while for others, the current authority granted to the Federal Communications Commission under Section 706 of the Communications Act is sufficient.

Can’t attend in person? Watch live online! [click to continue…]

This article by Randolph May originally appeared on the Free State Foundation blog.

David Honig SquareI just saw the press release that David Honig, the Minority Media & Telecommunications Council’s co-founder, is retiring after leading the organization as President for 28 years. Yes, you read that right: 28 years!

Truth be told, it would be an exaggeration to say that I am fortunate enough to call David a “close friend.” And it would not be true to say that, throughout his long career, I have always agreed with him or, for that matter, with all of the positions taken by MMTC.

But I do consider David a friend. And I am certainly an admirer of what he has accomplished at MMTC, with the help of his colleagues there. The work that MMTC does is important, and, from where I sit, the organization is very fortunate to have been the beneficiary of David’s dedication, intelligence, and leadership skills for more than a quarter of a century. My Free State Foundation colleague, former FCC Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate, has played a senior leadership role at MMTC for many years, along with friends such as Henry Rivera, Julia Johnson, Erwin Krasnow, Nicol Turner-Lee, Russell Frisby, and others. I’m confident they share my sentiments concerning David Honig’s contributions to MMTC and the cause MMTC represents. [click to continue…]

Kim KeenanWashington, D.C. (October 3, 2014): The Minority Media and Telecommunications Council is proud to announce that Kim M. Keenan has joined its staff as President and CEO, succeeding MMTC’s co-founder and President of 28 years, David Honig.

Prior to taking the helm at MMTC, Keenan served as General Counsel and Secretary of the NAACP. Previously, she was the principal of her own law firm and served in the litigation practices of two nationally recognized law firms for more than eighteen years. After law school, she served as law clerk to the Honorable John Garrett Penn in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. A top litigator and civil rights attorney, Keenan is a past president of the 100,000 member District of Columbia Bar, as well as the National Bar Association, the nation’s oldest and largest association of lawyers of color in the world. [click to continue…]

Caller ID SpoofingTelemarketers and other unwanted callers have been the bane of many households’ existence for decades. With the proliferation of caller ID in the 1990s, millions could breathe a sigh of relief as they now had the ability to screen and even automatically block calls from “Unknown” or “Private” numbers. Unfortunately, in recent years, technology has provided a benefit to scammers in the form of caller ID spoofing technology – software that enables the caller to disguise his or her name and phone number as that of a trusted company, government agency, or even the recipient of the call. This technology is widely available for free online.  [click to continue…]

Computer Judge Drawing from the well-known, user-friendly process of filing employment discrimination complaints before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council has weighed in with a nuanced approach to protect the open Internet from claims of blocking, throttling, or other complaints.

Last week, MMTC filed Reply Comments for a coalition of 45 national minority organizations, asserting that the FCC’s current authority under Section 706 of the 1996 Telecommunications Act, combined with a consumer-focused enforcement scheme modeled after Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, is the best way to implement strong, legally enforceable, and consumer-friendly open Internet rules with no blocking, no paid prioritization, and heightened transparency.

MMTC filed a memorandum last week detailing how the FCC can import the EEOC’s time-tested grievance process to alert the FCC to potential breaches of the open Internet rules.
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